Published on March 9th, 2014 | by gareth0
Interview With Carmela Hayslett
We were sent this fantastic interview with Carmela Hayslett. Carmela Hayslett reunites with her Deer Crossing director Christian Grillo for the science-fiction film Apocalypse Kiss, out April 8.
We speak to Hayslett – who also moonlights as ‘Roxsy Tyler’ on the popular web series Carnival of Horrors – about her collaborations with Mr. Grillo, her character in Apocalypse Kiss, and her next project.
So where does the love lie? Acting or Presenting – because you also present the Carnival of Horrors show?
On Carnival of Horrors they’re really one in the same because I’m playing a character. If I had to choose acting would be where my heart is. If it’s a live show I much rather act than present. It’s amazing how all my improv skills fly out the window when you replace the cameras with an actual audience.
How did you get involved in Apocalypse Kiss?
I was just talking one day with Christian Grillo about all the different characters I want to play someday and characters that I thought I’d be good at. I meant in general this was what I wanted out of my career. As soon as I said I wanted to play a lesbian and a serial killer he pretty much said, “Game on” and the first draft of the script was written weeks later. I should verbalise things I want more often. From there I took the initiative to rehearse the character, learn sign language, and other things. When I mastered one thing for the character he’d throw another thing at me and I’d master that too.
What appealed to you about the script?
I liked that instead of it being a post-apocalyptic like most movies I’ve seen that this one was actually pre-apocalyptic. I loved the characters and the atmosphere of the movie. I looked at that script as a steak dangling in front of my face. I needed to sink my teeth into it.
Is it daunting knowing you’re going to be working with such Hollywood heavyweights?
When they are on set with me I think of them as my peers and when they’re not on set I think of them as people. There have been very few times in my life where I was star-struck. The only time I got star-struck was when I met Ernie Hudson but I got it out of my system before I worked with him on Deer Crossing. I would get star-struck if I ever met Michael Keaton though because he was Batman. Other than that, I’ve worked with Hollywood actors regularly and they’re there to do their thing like I am.
Who or what inspired your performance in the movie?
Christian was going sort of for a ‘Girl with the dragon tattoo’ type of look. I took that character into consideration while also giving my character this Gothy Gypsy look. As for performance, when I met with my acting coach about the role she said I seemed more comfortable with this character than I was with others in the past. She asked me why and I said I’m excited because I’m playing the type of character that I’m usually drawn to when I watch films. I’m always drawn to the mysterious villain.
Obviously being the host of a web series, you believe in the power of the internet; how important is the web in promoting a movie like Apocalypse Kiss though? Is it easier to market a low-budget movie today than it was, say twenty years ago?
I think the internet has improved the platform for promoting films. It’s another place to market and everyone’s on it. There’s also the bad side of it too because pirating films grew as the internet did. You can’t have the good without the bad, I suppose. For the low- budget filmmaker it is absolutely easier to market their films. Low-budget filmmakers don’t usually have access to the resources Hollywood does like billboards and ads across buses and stuff like that. The internet made the playing field bigger.
Have you seen the movie with a crowd? How did it go down?
Yes, we had a cast and crew screening and our families were also invited. The movie got an amazing reaction. Also, there’s things Christian did in the movie where he expected an exact reaction to and he definitely got what he was striving for. People laughed in the right places. They gasped in the right places. Then they clapped and cheered when the movie was over. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Do you think there’s potential for a sequel here?
I don’t think so. I could see there being a prequel to it and I would totally be on board with that. There’s so many interesting characters in the film and it would be fun to know their back stories.
Will you and Christian Grillo be working on something else again soon?
Yes, we’re going to be working on Potent Media’s “The Sugar Skull Girls” this summer. It’s the first of a trilogy of children’s films. I play a particularly interesting witch.